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U.S. Suspends Air Strikes From Turkish Base Against IS In Iraq, Syria

The Pentagon says the U.S. military has temporarily suspended air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq that are flown from the Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey.

A Pentagon official said operations from Incirlik were suspended “because of the closure of the airspace” in the wake of a coup attempted by elements in Turkey’s military.

The Pentagon said U.S. Central Command was adjusting flight operations against IS militants to minimize the negative effects of the closure.

Meanwhile, U.S. military command in Europe ordered U.S. forces across Turkey to take maximum protective measures.

U.S. forces on July 16 were at “Delta” force protection level -- the level invoked when a terrorist attack is taking place or appears imminent.

At the Delta level, all nonessential activities are suspended and all resources placed in defensive positions in case of attack.

The U.S. military has about 2,200 troops and civilian contractors stationed in the NATO-member country, with about 1,500 at Incirlik.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP